Fears are mounting that the 17 eurozone nations will slide back into recession, following new figures that show weakness in the key economies of Germany and France.
France’s economy contracted by 0.5% in the last quarter, while Germany has been hit by a failed attempt to sell 10-year bonds. Investors warned that Germany’s struggle to raise capital was a signal that other European countries are headed for recession.
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James Murdoch steps down from UK newspaper role
James Murdoch, the News International chairman, has resigned as a director of the companies that publishes UK newspapers The Sun and The Times.
Murdoch quit the board of News Group Newspapers Ltd and Times Newspapers Ltd, in the wake of a second committee meeting with British MPs, where he denied knowledge of the phone hacking scandal that has engulfed the media giant.
Construction sector soars
Australia’s construction sector has recorded its strongest ever quarterly growth, with the value of work soaring 12.5% to $47.47 billion.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, activity was driven by the engineering sector, which grew 22.6%. However, residential construction slipped by 1.1%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 170.51 points, or 1.5%, to 11,323.21. The Australian dollar was steady at 96.83 US cents.